Again, the group in which preventive medicine stands out is children. First of all, “protecting teeth from decay” is the first target, since they are a group that is difficult to treat and the use of drugs such as antibiotics and painkillers is not preferred. But more importantly, the health of milk teeth affects the health of permanent teeth (adult teeth).
When milk teeth decay early, untreated and lost early, permanent teeth lose their guides and become displaced in the mouth. It becomes more difficult to compensate for this situation in advancing ages. For all these reasons, our children should meet the dentist from an early age. The first obstacle to be overcome in these processes is “Children’s fears”.
So how do we guide children better? Here are the answers;
-Children may be afraid of new experiences and unfamiliar places. In this respect, it is natural for them to be a little uneasy at the dentist. Stay calm and be optimistic.
– Do not allow negative stereotypes about dentists to form in your child’s mind. Do not create frightening, uneasy or disturbing feelings when you talk about dentists in your conversations. Do not use dentists as a punishment or threat. Don’t say “I’ll take you to the dentist, he’ll give you an injection, pull your tooth”!
– Highlight the good aspects of your own dental treatment: “I did something good for my health, I feel clean in my mouth, my dentist is great, I love going there” and let the stereotypes become established.
– Practice yourself. Play the “dentist” game. First, you pretend to be the patient and have your child examine your mouth. Then switch places. Practice all these in physically comfortable environments for him. Get your child used to and comfortable with the idea of having their teeth and gums touched. Get fun videos, toys and books about the dentist specially prepared for children and practice together.
-Explain the behavior you expect from your child from the beginning and “clearly”:
“You must follow exactly what the dentist says.”
“You have to sit on the couch until the dentist says you can get up”
-Awards motivate. Plan together a gift that your child will earn by following the rules. A fun activity to do right after your dentist appointment might be an ideal idea. So you create something to motivate him.
-Don’t try to “soothe” your child too much or be too “soothing”. Constantly saying, “Don’t worry, everything will be fine” etc., the child says, “Alas! Since my mother insisted on it like that, something bad will happen for sure. Children choose and hear only bad words from sentences such as “It will never hurt, they will not give an injection”. Never use these words. Use positive concepts such as “health, cleanliness, counting our teeth, whiteness” when drawing the frame.
-Be careful where you direct your attention and attention. Emphasize and highlight your child’s ‘brave’ actions, not tears or negative behaviors. Phrases such as “You are doing a great job”, “You helped your doctor a lot”, “How wonderful that you did exactly what your doctor said” create an auto-repeat reaction on the other side.
-Don’t run away, don’t cancel. Do your best not to leave the clinic before finishing the planned treatment. Otherwise, your child will be very depressed and develop the same intense tension for their next dentist appointment.
– When choosing the dental clinic where you will have your child treated, try to find a team (Pedodontist: Pediatric dentist) that is especially specialized in their field. Environments prepared with details where you can feel comfortable and children will find fun make your job easier in the first step.